Let’s stay fo­cused: Let’s not get car­ried away with Drua big wins

Fiji Sun - - Comment - LEONE CABENATABUA Feed­back: leonec@fi­jisun.com.fj

Let's not be car­ried away with the re­cent success of the Fiji Air­ways Drua rugby side's per­for­mance in the Aus­tralia Na­tional Rugby Cham­pi­onship.

Yes, we're all proud of their 41-5 hu­mil­i­a­tion of Perth Spirit at the ANZ Sta­dium, Suva last Satur­day and the fact that they now lead the NRC points ta­ble. We should take note of why Drua head coach Senirusi Seru­vakula on Mon­day stressed the need for them to stay fo­cused and win the next two games if they're to make the top four.

We're still far away from win­ning the NRC and we should not be count­ing the Aussies out as yet. Re­mem­ber, we're playing against Su­per Rugby 'feeder clubs' and they are more pro­fes­sional in their ap­proach than us and surely are go­ing to turn things around when it comes to the cru­cial part of the com­pe­ti­tion. Al­though, the Drua have recorded wins over Mel­bourne Ris­ing, NSW Coun­try Ea­gles and Spirit, the stats recorded in those games do not in­di­cate their dom­i­nance.

Take for ex­am­ple the stats sheet for the Drua v Spirit match which shows a 41-5 win, six-tries-to-one thump­ing of the 2016 NRC champions.

The set piece bat­tle was quite tight, with Perth tak­ing a slight li­ne­out ad­van­tage, Drua a sim­i­lar edge in the scrums.

The break­down and at­tack num­bers show Perth well on top, win­ning two-and-a-half times as many rucks, car­ry­ing 70 per cent more than Fiji, and with 50 per cent more de­fend­ers beaten.

Flow­ing on from this, Fiji made twice as many tack­les as Perth did, missed 50 per cent more, and they con­ceded 10 penal­ties to three.

Again, if you didn't see the game, and still couldn't see the fi­nal score, you'd have Perth win­ning rea­son­ably well from these num­bers.

For the Drua, it is a mat­ter of tak­ing one game at a time.

Ro­bust No.8 Peni Raidre said it right in his in­ter­view with this news­pa­per that for them it's a mat­ter of learn­ing from ev­ery game and mak­ing things right for the next.

That should be the at­ti­tude as of now as our rugby sails to greater heights.

Photo: Jone Lu­ven­i­toga

Al­though, the Fiji Air­ways Drua have recorded wins over Mel­bourne Ris­ing, NSW Coun­try Ea­gles and Spirit, the stats recorded in those games do not in­di­cate their dom­i­nance.

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